DIY Glass entertainment center - IMPORTANT UPDATE

UPDATE 2/12/2014
National Electric Code does not allow flexible cords that carry electricity to be in or through a wall. If your house catches on fire, your homeowner's insurance WILL NOT pay for a damage claim since their investigators will determine a code violation. 

Therefore, I pulled out my power cords from the wall and ran them through one of these
from Amazon instead:

So, I'm posting this to hopefully keep you and others safe. SPREAD THE WORD TO OTHER DIY-ERS!


Hello everyone!

I haven't written a scratch for almost two months now, but the holidays throw everything off. I've done several projects since then, but haven't made time to write! So I have some catching up to do.

Let's just jump into this one.

I absolutely adore glass shelves. I love how they allow light to bounce about the room...without looking cluttery or making the space smaller...

The number one place that I want to install glass shelves is under my TV. 

This just looks like crap.
I could buy a glass shelving unit (from Amazon) for $49... but those shelves are not wide or enough for my system. 

I actually want a fully customizable set of shelves; and I want to hide the wires in the drywall, without a big black wall mount...

What I need are shelves that are at least 24" wide, and at least 16" deep. I want stainless steel brackets.

In order to fit my stereo underneath, I needed to have a gap of at least 11" between the two shelves, then space enough above for the Playstation...

So, here's what I did!

I am going to buy glass shelf brackets from Home Depot (Lowe's doesn't have them).

I am going to go with these:

These babies can hold up to 66 POUNDS
Now, for the glass....

I really wanted tempered glass - it's much tougher than regular glass (and shatter-resistant), but I couldn't find it in Lowe's or Home Depot. So I just got regular glass.

I got a 24"x 30" sheet, and cut it in half so that it was two shelves 12"x 30". I had to use a long strip of wood, clamped gently on both sides of the glass, so that I could have a cutting line and so the glass wouldn't move. 

I used the little glass cutter tool, and snapped the glass perfectly in half! (I put a towel under the glass so I wouldn't scratch it.)

Now, the glass was supposed to be at least 3/16" thick - the shelving brackets can't clamp on any glass thinner than that... but Home Depot had, as their thickest glass, 3/32. It makes me nervous using such thin glass, but I have a plan.

I will use these rubbery adhesives on the brackets to take up the extra space:

And I will use a board to support the glass underneath my stereo (which is really too heavy for this thin glass). I'll arrange the board so it's almost invisible under the glass.

I measured where I'd put my brackets and installed them:

**When installing brackets anywhere near outlets, make sure you are not going to damage wires with your screws.
Outlet boxes are usually screwed into a stud, and the wires run along the side of the stud. The plug outlet on the right was screwed to the left of the stud, and the cable box's wires ran to the left of the stud it was screwed onto. So my brackets are not damaging the electric wires.

This is also especially important when running TV wires through drywall.

I cut a small hole under the TV, and just at the back of each shelf, all running along the same vertical line.

I fed the wires through the drywall and to the appropriate shelf before putting the glass in.

I put the little adhesive tabs on my brackets to snug up to the glass (don't tighten the brackets too much or you can crack your glass):

And under the glass on the bottom shelf, I put a board for extra support.

I fed all the wires through properly:

I hooked everything back up, and here is my finished result!
The board on the bottom shelf is a little smaller than the stereo, so the stereo hides it really well!

We also got a new TV in the meantime :-)

Here's a close up of the bottom shelf with the board underneath.

You can barely see the board under the stereo!

If you were to do this project yourself, make sure your shelves are at LEAST two inches deeper than your equipment, since plugs and cables stick out pretty far.

I just think it looks so much better than the ugly black hole that was my entertainment center.

Quick flashback...
Since this post, I ended up accidentally falling into the glass (got a pretty bad cut - so I wouldn't recommend this setup if you have kids), and so I made a NEW, floating entertainment center out of wood - and it looks awesome.